Goya gives back

If you have ever cooked some type of Latinx food, then you must know about Goya. Currently, Goya has an initiative to give back and I want to support their cause. 


*For every can of GOYA® Refried Beans and GOYA® Beans in Sauce (Red label) purchased from 1/1/18 – 2/28/18, Goya Foods, as part of their “Goya Gives” initiative, will donate an average of 4 oz. of Goya food products to Feeding America® to help provide balanced meals to food banks nationwide. Guaranteed minimum donation of 600,000 pounds from this offer combined with similar offers during the period 6/1/17–5/31/18. Learn more about Feeding America and how it supports local food banks at www.FeedingAmerica.org.


*Por cada compra de Frijoles Refritos GOYA® y Frijoles Guisados GOYA® (etiqueta roja) entre el 1 de enero de 2018 y el 28 de febrero de 2018, Goya Foods, como parte de su iniciativa “Goya Gives”,

Goya donará un promedio de 4 onzas de productos alimenticios GOYA® a Feeding America® para ayudar a proveer comidas balanceadas a los bancos de alimentos del país. Garantizamos una donación mínima de 600,000 libras de comida recaudadas durante esta oferta combinada con ofertas similares llevadas a cabo durante el 1 de junio de 2017 al 31 de mayo de 2018. Conozca más sobre Feeding America y cómo apoyar a los bancos locales de alimentos en www.FeedingAmerica.org.

When was the last time  you gave back to a cause? 

P.S. This is NOT a sponsored post nor did I get paid to post this. 

Diaries of an extrovert...

At a conference here in Nashville, TN. I don't know anyone. I'm thinking I'll make new friends. Day one of the conference kicks off. Everyone is with friends, I eat lunch alone and decide to go outside of the event to find a nice coffee place that doesn't charge me $9 for a cup of coffee. 

Come back to my next class, I meet Ivan and have an amazing conversation, then I meet Amy Lou and volunteer student. At dinner, I have awesome conversations with other humans. It's time to go home. I feel refreshed and energized. I have to go to bed now. How? 

Maybe tomorrow I'll meet people early in the morning. 


On Date Rape

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of mending broken pottery with gold. I believe the same thing happens with our scars, whether physical or emotional. Once they heal, they become these beautiful imperfections that are a constant reminder of how strong we are.

Some years ago, I was wearing my favorite go-to outfit. I felt sexy, fearless and beautiful. We arranged to have dinner and met at a mall parking lot, it was a nice fall evening. As I got out of my car to greet him, I could feel the crisp air touching my face. I could smellhis cologne impregnated in my clothes as he hugged me hello.

After a delicious colorful dinner, we decided to head over to the arcade that was near the restaurant. I had indulged on a couple of alcoholic beverages. This is when my memories start getting cloudy. I remember him handing me more drinks regardless of my answers. All he could say was “You’ll be fine.”

When we decided to head out, the earlier breeze became a cold dark night. The moment the cold air hit my face I realized I was far away from home and with a man I had only met once. But, He… was… safe… I thought, he knows my friends and.... At that moment when the night welcomed my presence I started blaming myself for what was happening. After all, I got drunk, I agreed to meet him, I made that choice.

I asked him to drop me off at my car so I could sleep there for a couple of hours until I was sober enough to drive. He declined. I asked where he was headed and he again said “You’ll be fine.” I remember arriving at the lonely hotel, walking into the lobby. I was tired, disoriented and all I wanted was to go to sleep, get sober and go home. The elevator doors opened and I quietly walked into to the room I don’t want to be here I thought. He immediately headed to the bed where he proceeded to remove his clothes. I… I just want to sleep. I can sleep on the couch, I said. “Oh come on, you’ll be fine, just lay here.” Full of fear, I headed to the end of the bed where I sat. He tried to kiss me and take my clothes off. I don’t want to do anything, I just want to sleep please! Please no! Please stop! The words that came out of my mouth did not matter. All I could hear was “You’ll be fine.” I am not fine! Eventually, I became exhausted of fighting, of begging him to stop. I consented. But did I really?

The next morning he dropped me off at my car, I was numb, dirty and I felt like a part of my soul had been taken from me. Time froze while I was in my car, finally I drove to the nearest gym. I showered and showered again. The first thing I wanted to do was to remove all of him, I wanted to soak under the water until everything was gone, removed and vanished from my memory. I didn’t know what happened. Months of my life were invisible until I began healing my scars.

It took months and therapy to get over. Did I report it you ask? No I did not. It took a long time for me to realize I was not at fault. I even doubted what happened because my friends didn’t believe me. They knew him, they didn’t think he was capable of such thing. It hurt that they couldn’t see what had happened. It took a long time for me to realize that because someone made me have sex with him doesn’t make me a slut or a whore or a woman who asked for it. After all, who defines those words?

I have been raped and that doesn’t make me less of a woman. My invisible scars are a symbol of strength. It doesn’t matter what I was wearing, what I said or even the fact that I was drunk. NO is NO. It is that simple.

Thank you to all the women who dare to defy the expectation. Thank you to the strong ones that fought for the rights we have now and thank you to the ones that are leaving a legacy behind of stronger men and women.

To him I want to tell him Thank You. For allowing me to see my own strength, to open my eyes, to leave that window open in my soul that allowed me to dig deep and get ahold of the strong woman behind it.  Thanks to this trauma, I am now able to really love myself, I know that if I don’t stand up for what I want, nobody else will. I can firmly now say no. I can strongly share my opinion and truly believe that it matters.

My scar just like any other scar, it is not perfect, it is not smooth and sometimes light leaks in, or out and that is perfectly fine. Just like Kintsugi, life could become better after we learn to appreciate the flaws and embrace the imperfections.

To every woman, no matter how many words society throws at you, no matter how many invisible scars you carry, you are strong. Remember your scars let light shine in and out. Reach in, find that strong woman. Keep going, do it for yourself, do it for the other women fighting. Mend those scars with beautiful gold and keep shining.


Mom, daughter and a dog

As a photographer, what I enjoy the most from capturing people is of course learning their story. When I sent my questionnaire to Lindsey she really wanted to make sure her furry companion of 14+ years was captured as soon as possible. "He's been with me through a lot and I want to make sure I get some memories with him while he can still walk and get around." She's talking about her lab Snoopy. As many other labradors, Snoopy is already showing signs of hip dysplasia, he's walking a little slower and sleeping more. Also, her daughter L is growing and and Lindsey wanted to make sure family photos were captured so the memory of her being at this age was captured and kept.

I had so much fun with this trio at the beach in Encinitas, CA. We encountered an unexpected high tide so we had to stay ashore to avoid leaving with the waves as they parted from the sand.

I am so grateful to be able to capture these moments for people. I love it more when dogs are my subjects. 

When was the last time you took a photo with your furry friend that you can frame?  

A day in the city

The other day my friend Jon and I had a fun day in which we walked and explored our city. I was able to capture him and the different moments that we were passing by. 

And I wondered about all the stories that cities carry, like those pants that are hanging from that pole, did someone take them off and hang them there? Or were they recently washed and needed to dry out so the owner didn't have to wear wet heavy pants? Perhaps, someone was trying to hide them. Whatever the reason for those pants was, is that they were there, being unnoticed, seeing the rest of the city live by. 

What about the people we stumble upon that live on the streets? We happened to walk by a man who was asking for money and countless people were continuing their stroll without acknowledging him, myself included. When he approached me and asked me for money, I simply nodded and kept walking. 

Jon took the time to stop and told the stranger that he had no cash available to give. The older man, responded with "thank you, at least you acknowledged me." 

How many times do we go through our day ignoring those details? 

As our walk continued, we came across a nice wall. We decided to play the fashion blogger role and snap some portraits, as you can see I'm a natural, especially the last photo. Definitely there's a reason why I am a behind the lens and behind the mic person. 

This beautifully dressed couple came out of a building and started walking in front of us. They started walking together, holding hands and as the end of the block began approaching, he sped up his step and I noticed that she couldn't keep up because of her nice heels. By the time they got to the end of the block it seemed as if she had been chasing him the whole time. 

Not sure what happened here, maybe a fashion blogger getting her photo taken? In downtown San Diego? 

Clearly, we are the people who take picture of their food. As you roll your eyes at me when I stand up to get the nice lighting on top of my chocolate brownie or mac n cheese. 

Can't deny this coffee photo is pretty cool though. 

Jon could not end the night without playing a bit of his Pokemon Go game. I guess it was time to go home. 

How do you spend your days off? When was the last time you went outside and explored your city? 

- Pam

Sabor Latino San Diego

And the day finally came! It was a sunny Saturday and I arrived to the location, I could hear the colorful music and smell the delicious food I was about to enjoy. 

The booths were set up and each business was ready to start delivering their creation. From Breweries, Wineries, Restaurants and a lot of in-between, you could enjoy it all once you crossed the gated door and received your wrist band. 

Another cool thing is that there was a LIVE Art Show! It was wonderful! Two artists were painting there and showing their art. 

And let's not forget about the music, constantly there were artists performing and making us dance, the courageous ones would step on to the front and the more shy ones would simply tap their feet as they watched. Nonetheless, food, celebration and music were completely present at Sabor Latino. 

Kudos to the Team who put this together and big shoutout to Chef Alvaro for the selection of the Chefs this year. Buen provecho

Women's March - Phoenix

Well, even though I was part of the planning committee of the Women's March San Diego, I ended up going to Phoenix that day. 

David and I arrived right on time, parked at a nearby street and proceeded to walk along other pink hats that were strolling in front of us. We saw women of all ages, families and lots of men. Everyone was inclusive, friendly and even though some of their signs were pretty strong, their attitude was calm and collected. 

As we arrived I noticed A LOT of white people. There were very few people of color. Thankfully as we progressed with the march I noticed that there were groups of people that looked more like me.  

For a moment, I was the brown dot in the pink hat crowd. However, I did not feel alone or out of place. Everyone that showed up had a purpose, to make sure that all human rights were protected. Everyone I smiled to (you know I always smile at strangers), smiled back and I enjoyed reading their signs and marching along with them. 

As we continued to walk, there was a diverse group of women that were chanting as we marched. The rest of us joined as we learned the words. 

We saw a lot of pink hats, not as many as the women in Washington had (based on pictures I've seen).

What does the pink hat mean? Well, there's the PussyHat Project and the two women that created the pattern and the reason behind the hat. After the leaked audio of Trump stating that he would grab women by the pussy, the two women got together, found a knitter that made the pattern and there it is, the pink pussyhat movement was born. 

There's been controversy of the Women's March being too white, not inclusive enough and at the same time, I have heard many people say that thanks to all the white women who attended, there were zero acts of violence. 

Is that right? If so, then more white women need to get out, wear pink hats and more people of color should join instead of watching from the sidelines and defining the movement as too white for them. Maybe it was too white because you were not there. 

What else can we do? Women's March created a follow up movement after the Women's March that is called 10 actions in 100 days. They have great resources to take action. 

Also, visit DailyAction.org and sign up to make sure you do more than just a one day march. We still have a lot more work to do. 


- Pam 


The power of a smile

This week is the week after Thanksgiving and we woke up into the crazy Cyber Monday and rolled into #GivingTuesday, the day to give back. 

Well, because I try to give back financially every month, I had to come up with something different. Plus, I am known to be one to not follow the masses, however, I wanted to do something good and I decided to smile. 

Smile? Yes, smile at strangers. Wait for that 2, 3, 5, 10 second delay for that other person to return the favor and smile back. Some humans struggled, some made the choice to keep the frown and that is ok. I was fine with giving my smile and allowing the other person to receive it. I wasn't expecting anything in return. After all, it was a day of giving right? 

When was the last time you smiled at a stranger? 


- Pam

No posts in a while?

Guess what, I ran out of memory. Literally, my external hard drive is full. I have a camera memory card full of photos I need to upload, but no memory to upload them. 

Also, I've been working really hard on getting the podcast up and running and I'm having a ton of fun doing it. I'm also on Stitcher! 

I promise I'll work on this memory issue and will post lots of fun stuff soon. 

Until then, don't forget to check out the podcast! 



Listen to Stitcher

Going back in time

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to participate in a Pin-Up session. It was actually a class and it was a ton of fun. Now every time I see an old school car, I want to bring one of those beautiful models and capture a memory. 

During this session I learned a couple of things about Pin-Up Art and then I researched more: 

  • During World War II, the US Government designed Pin-Up posters featuring beautiful women so soldier's could be excited to come home to such beauties. 
  • Pin-Up posters were the beginning of Playboy as it allowed for the media to figure that Sex Sells.
  • The name "Pin-Up" came from the idea that these pieces of artwork would be Pinned up on your wall. 

I might play with this idea for the future. However, thinking about the fact that the purpose of these women on paper was to encourage men to come back from war leaves me a little uneasy. My feminist side comes out when I think about the origin. There can always be a spin-off though. 

The Identity of She Beach Shoot

Well, this one was a challenging one. What went from "We're going to take some awesome sunset shots at the beach" to "Uh oh, I only brought one light and the sun is gone" session. 

What we originally planned obviously didn't go as well. Lesson learned, allow mucho tiempo to make sure everyone is ready on time. Nonetheless, our models were great, their attitude was amazing despite how cold it was, how some were being attacked by jelly fish and how nobody could see because, well, there was no sun. 

This session was a collaboration with our friends from The Identity of She and their fantastic line of clothes. They are doing big things and I'm so proud to be part of that. 


Don't create a story

The other day I sent an email to a friend and didn't get a response. I got a notification that the email was read and the reply was never received on my end. 

It was a simple question. Why didn't she just answer it? .. Maybe she got busy .. Maybe she forgot, should I remind her? .. No, then she might think I'm being annoying. 

And on and on my thoughts went. I created a story, or multiple ones for that matter. 

Finally I met with one of my mentors and as I was telling her what happened, she stopped me and said "Why are you making up stories? She didn't reply, that is all we know."

This lesson has quickly been coming back to many things that happens to me daily. We tend to assume a lot of things, we make up stories and when we talk to other people who fall under the same trap, then the story gets more and more complicated when we really don't know what happened. 

When was the last time you made up a story? Think about it.

- Pam


Red Blue and White...

There really isn't anything red blue and white in this set of pictures. This year, I started our first annual 4th of July Picnic at the park. I had some American Flag sunglasses but that was it. Does that make me less American? Does that make my friends enough American? I don't think so. I think the beauty of this country is that we are able to express ourselves and celebrate the holidays how we want to. 

I do believe it is important to acknowledge why we are having a celebration. Whether it is the anniversary of our independence or any other holiday, it is important to know why we have a day off to enjoy with the company of our loved ones. 

We played water ballon baseball and that was a lot of fun. I think I missed 3 out of 4 balloons that were thrown at me, in the end we all laughed and had a wonderful time. 



Since a lot of my friends are "orphans" in San Diego, we often spend time together compensating for the time we would spend with families. We have become our own little family of people who have migrated to this wonderful state of California. 

How do you celebrate 4th of July? 

The Rocky Mountains

I spent a two days in Denver this past week and I dedicated one hour to shooting, about 30 minutes after work one night and 30 minutes before heading to the airport for my flight back to San Diego. Definitely will start bringing my camera to all my travels. 

I realized having my camera with me allows me to do the following: 

  • Go outside and explore the city
  • Get at least 30 minutes of walking a day
  • Not feel so alone. My camera is my companion that allows me to capture moments
  • Make new friends. For some reason having a camera in your hand makes you less intimidating to some people, more intimidating to others. Either way, people notice you.

Here are some of the moments captured: 


Don't forget to get your 30 minute walk every day! Whether it is holding a camera, listening to your favorite song or calling a loved one, get out there. Your body will thank you. 


- Pam

Two wheels, four wheels

When was the last time you stopped to notice what's around you? This is a series of shots taken in Venice Beach, CA the summer of 2016. 

What stories can you make up for each photo? Even though they are essentially a series, you can pick one at a time and create a narrative that fits that scene.